Morocco, Algeria and Western Sahara, the real life of Abdelaziz Bouteflika

From his brief underground passage, Abdelaziz Bouteflika would keep  some “guerrilla” reactions which would be remaining with him till his death. Developing the secret, with a strong liking for the intrigue, able to call directly the smaller official without informing the concerned minister, “comrade Abdelaziz” is an absolute must for who ever wants to understand the relationship between Algeria and Morocco and the Western Sahara affair. Abdelaziz Bouteflika is linked to Morocco with an umbilical cord, an affectionate and easily-offended feeling. Having been close to Hassan II guards, before the independence of Algeria, he formed with Abdelhamid Boussouf, a super-efficient tandem, the driving force of the National Liberation Front ideological reactor . Morocco is then a must as it is the logistic back foundation for the Algerian resistance, and the relationship between Moroccans and Algerians are more than friendly, almost a brotherly one. At the height of the crisis in the 60s between Morocco and Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has, nevertheless, kept close relationships and discreet links with Morocco allowing him to send messages from the Mouradia Palace to “Dar el Makhzen” and vice versa, for the benefit of the two parties. The Sahara issue has constituted the big affair which lessened this complicity between Bouteflika and Morocco, added to his falling into disfavour with colonel Boumediene, since the marriage of the latter with Anissa, who hates the bright foreign affairs minister who has been very successful in presiding the UNO General Assembly. During his long crossing of the desert after the death of Boumediene, during which he gave himself up to consultancy profitable activities with the Gulf Oil-monarchies, Bouteflika tried to make it up with his Moroccan friends, assuring them that “if he were in power, the Sahara issue would have been settled down very quickly”.

He even dropped in  one of Hassan II advisers’ ears, in the mid-90s, that it is due to the pressure put by “Houari” that the Sahara conflict has assumed such serious proportions. Thus, the return of Bouteflika to power in 1999, gave hope that the Western Sahara issue would be settled down in eighteen months, since the new president seemed to be decided to launch a normalization process between Algeria and Morocco. As everybody knows, things came out to be different, and from change to shilly-shallying, from non-fulfilled promises to deceived hopes, the Algerian President pushed to conviction that he does not get the file completely under control, and that his hands are tied by a mysterious “power” which does not let him solve the unique issue that would have allowed him to enter the history: that of the brotherly meeting between Algeria and Morocco and the dissolution of the Polisario Front.



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